From today’s Register-Herald:
Baby, mother injured after car crash; driver charged with DUI, police say
Amelia A. Pridemore
A Daniels woman allegedly under the influence of an inhalant crashed a car through a yard and two fences, went over and up two embankments and struck a building, injuring another woman and a five-month-old girl, Beckley police said.
Angel L. Stoots, 25, of Danmont Vista, was charged with DUI with injury, DUI with child endangerment, driving without a license and having no insurance, Cpl. Will Reynolds said. She was being held Saturday at Southern Regional Jail on $5,000 bond.
Stoots was in the driver’s seat of a 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked behind the Pagoda Motel on Harper Road Friday evening, Reynolds said.
An adult female passenger was in the front seat and the passenger’s 5-month-old daughter was in a child safety seat in the back.
Stoots was reportedly inhaling an unidentified “intoxicating substance,” Reynolds said. She claimed she passed out while the car was in gear and stepped on the gas pedal.
The Monte Carlo went across North Pike Street and into a resident’s back yard in the 1000 block of West Neville Street, Reynolds said. The car then tore down two fences and went over a six-foot embankment. After going through a resident’s parking spot and through grass, the car went up a three-foot embankment and struck a brick building in the same block of West Neville.
The passenger and her daughter were taken to Raleigh General Hospital, Reynolds said. The baby had a knot on her head and the passenger complained of head and back pain. Stoots was not hurt.
The passenger told police she was not involved in Stoots’ activities and that she tried to get herself and her child out of the car, Reynolds said.
Note: This woman is liable for any and all property damage that she caused, as well as for any injuries suffered by the other occupants of the vehicle, including the five-month old child. Furthermore, liability is pretty much a non-issue since the criminal charges alone will basically prove that. Hopefully, the woman had adequate insurance. Many times however, the same type of lowlife mentality that would lead a person to huff an intoxicant while driving a car in which an innocent five-month old baby is a passenger is the same mentality that would lead a person to decide to drive without vehicle liability insurance. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia car accident attorney.